The University of Maine at Augusta, through the Unmanned Aircraft Systems pilot training center, will host a daylong conference, Drone Applications for Business: Navigating Your Airspace, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Jewett Auditorium on UMA’s Augusta campus, according to a news release from Thomas Abbott, project manager for the UAS Pilot Training Center at UMA.

This conference will showcase cutting edge drone applications for businesses. A snow date has been reserved for Feb. 24.

The goal of the conference is to provide anyone interested, especially business owners, with a better understanding of how drones can bring their operations to a new level. Leading aviation experts will provide information on drone equipment, how they operate, and potential business applications.

The conference sessions will include the following speakers: Scott Pitta, president and CEO of the Association of Professional Drone Pilots, who will talk about drones in the public sector; Chris Huebner, aviation safety inspector, FAA HQ, who will provide information on FAA rules and expected changes, and Sam Knight, geophysicist at Blue Marble in Hallowell, and Jesse Gibbon, UAS project manager from Coutts Brothers in Randolph, who will discuss starting their drone specialty, according to the release.

Business applications include using UAVs to conduct engineering inspections, monitoring power transmission lines and pipelines, and examining the crop health of Maine’s forests and farms in conjunction with infrared technology. Drones also can be utilized in search and rescue operations, aerial photography for land surveys and environmental assessments, advertising, video and film production, and real estate development.

“UAVs can revolutionize the way we do business. Applications for UAVs are varied and growing,” said Abbott, in the release.

Maine is poised to become a major training hub for this expanding $82 billion industry, according to the release.

For a complete list of session topics and speakers and to register, visit

For additional information about the program, contact Abbott at 621-3342 or [email protected].

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